Genomic research is leading to incredible advances in modern-day healthcare but combining health and genomic data can greatly accelerate new discoveries. To enable the advancement of medical research and patient care, Genome British Columbia (Genome BC) has committed an investment of up to $1 million in partnership with Providence Health Care Ventures (Ventures).

“Our Data Access, Integration and Analysis program will provide qualified researchers with access, through Venture’s Integrated Health Informatics Datalab, to de-identified health data within a secure environment,” said Federica Di Palma, Chief Scientific Officer and Vice-President, Sectors at Genome BC. “Once that clinical data is integrated with genomic research data, it will enable new discoveries that address unmet clinical needs, provide benefits to the healthcare system, and most importantly, improve patient outcomes.

“There is tremendous room for growth in our health systems by incorporating data for continuous improvement. Just as data is central to effective decision-making in information technology, finance and manufacturing, making data available in a safe, ethical, secure and privacy-conscious way can improve the performance and quality of healthcare. Patient health data can be consistently analyzed to develop new prognostic, diagnostic and other tools, which can then be integrated into care and provide a better experience and superior results.

“Until now there has been a lack of ready access to health data and little opportunity to integrate this valuable patient information with existing research data in a functional way,” said Brian Simmers, Chief Financial Officer and Vice President, People and Health Informatics, Providence Health Care. “Ventures’ Integrated Health Informatics Datalab will allow researchers and innovators from private and public sectors across the globe to access the real-world evidence they need to support health care discoveries, product development and, ultimately, better patient care.”

Genome BC strategically promotes data collection, management, storage, analysis and integration as they are essential for genomic research and innovation. Much of the datasets resulting from Genome BC-funded projects have value and utility beyond the purpose for which they are originally generated.  To this end, Genome BC’s funding programs mandate, actively support and rigorously assess clear plans for data governance including management, sharing and the provision of secondary data access.

Through its genomic data strategy, Genome BC promotes scientific data management and stewardship through the FAIR Guiding Principles ( and the CARE Principles for Indigenous Data governance (​

This story was adapted from a Genome BC news release, which you can read here​.

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